Thursday, 7 June 2007

New Pay TV Channel, now what have we got here ?

After enjoying a largely monopolistic market in Africa, MultiChoice's DSTv- which includes among others SuperSport finally have some competition that they ought to start thinking about. Let’s just it’s been a smooth number of years ( it’s that short, seems like we’ve had satellite TV for the longest time ever!)
GTV – a company developed and supported by Gateway Broadcast Services has secured a 3-year deal to broadcast the UK Barclays Premier League and Italian Serie A. This will be carried on its sports channel 'G Sports' (...seems they be pun intending already!)This was after the company did a survey on the preferences of potential consumers, and found these to be the appealing and sought after.
It will hope to launch in June 30th 2007 in Kenya.
The station will offer 16-channel service including;
- dedicated football channel showing 8 UK premiership games per week,
- 6 Italian Serie A games every weekend,
-Top games influencing the top of the table, relegation and European competitions qualification.
- African soccer both localised and international
There will also be locally produced commentary and broad channel bouquet as part of the offering.The targeted group is people with incomes in the KShs.65000 (p.m.) and the package will cost around KShs.1400($20) entry price. The company will initially based in East Africa before expanding to the rest of Sub-Saharan countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.It will in future hope to appeal to the French and Portuguese speaking countries.
GTV in addition will have another channel 'G Prime' for entertainment and movies. According to Mr. Julian McIntyre-the founder and president,
the African market has been artificially constrained by monopoly pricing and non-relevant content.
Last year the company issued high-yielding bonds worth $100 million to refinance debt and raise funds for expansion. It also hopes to offer pay TV on cell phones hopefully within the next 5 years.
This will be in a market that is forecasted to be worth $3 billion by 2015 with the basic TV market growing at 10% per annum. In Africa where we have the least Pay TV penetration rate at less than 1 % , Kenya has around 23000 households out of an estimated population of 2.2 million households.

Logo courtesy of
Multichoice which is owned by Naspers has some food for thought over the June-August break to think of a more competitive package to be able to counter the company that is GTV. Already a family package offering 25 channels at a monthly price of KShs. 1350 (US$ 19).It also has around 1.34 million subscribers in 50 countries hence it's already leading the market.
It will be interesting to see what offering the 2 companies will engage in for the coming months. There will be price reductions and offers running left, right and centre as they seek to outdo each other. This will eventually (I hope) mean more affordable Pay TV with relevant content. Can’t wait for the 2007-2008 English Premier League season !
Credits to; (article by Carole Kimutai of SOKONI),,and

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